Procrastination before starting exercise is not uncommon. There’s no worse way to watch the motivation fly away, though: You’re about to get dressed, but you decide to check your phone at the last minute and push back the time to get started. Bam, two hours later, we’re still scrolling through Tik Tok and running out of time to exercise. While procrastination in itself isn’t much of a problem, many people are more efficient in an emergency, others may become discouraged and simply give up all physical activity.
Why are we delaying it?
This is a question we all ask ourselves: what makes us procrastinate despite the desire to exercise? First of all, there is one thing to know: this phenomenon is definitely not linked to any form of laziness. So you don’t have to feel guilty. “It is often associated with a person’s ability to self-regulate their behavior. Procrastination is triggered by short-term emotional gratification to avoid experiencing negative emotions, which negatively affect long-term success and well-being,” Fionnuala Barnes, a psychologist and sports coach, told British media “Stylist”. Even knowing all the benefits of exercise for the body, this does not prevent procrastination from winning the battle, as the professional notes: “It doesn’t matter that exercise is beneficial for our health, if we don’t feel capable, it is not the right time or you don’t have the motivation, then it will be very difficult to get started. †
According to her, procrastination in sports is linked to four factors: our expectations that are so high that one has the impression that one will never reach them and lack of connection with the sport we practice. The fact that we prioritize other tasks that seem more important also promote procrastination. Finally, some people rather do it at the last minute because they are more effective under pressure and love the adrenaline rush. But if you’re tired of procrastinating for sessions, here are five tips to help you get motivated more easily.
1. Sports in a group
And yes, it may seem obvious, but group sports bring a social aspect to the practice. Whether it concerns group lessons, training with a coach or with friends, the collective is often synonymous with cohesion. In addition, it brings a more regular rhythm and involvement with the other that motivates. “Working with professionals can help push you and be consistent by maintaining variety in exercises and fun in workouts,” adds Fionnuala Barnes. And then, when it comes to group classes, it’s harder to cancel at the last minute.
2. Focus on feeling after training
Why not focus on the positive instead of focusing on the task and the difficulties that await us during the training? That is, the feeling of relaxation that awaits us after the session and the effort. After completing a task, a reward system in the brain is activated. Results ? An increased sense of self-confidence, but also the feeling of having done something good for body and mind. Good news we focus on to avoid procrastination!
3. Focus on your goals
When you start putting off your workout, there’s nothing better than remembering why you started in the first place: Is it to strengthen your muscles? To play with his children? To challenge yourself? Running a marathon? Once you have a clear idea of why you want to exercise, it’s easier to get started. Conversely, if the reason is in the eyes of others, it can be harder to stay motivated and feel connected to your body when you’re on the go. We forget to set realistic goals. With every step taken, we don’t forget to congratulate ourselves!
4. Go straight into your outfit
A small piece of advice that doesn’t seem like much, but can be very useful, especially if you have planned a sports session at home. For example, you can get up in the morning and immediately put on your workout clothes before drinking coffee or having breakfast. The same pattern if you prefer to practice in the evening, you put on your favorite leggings right when you get home from work. A gesture that prepares us mentally and puts us in the perspective of engaging in a physical activity.
5. Tell yourself you can stop anytime
Yes, it may sound very strange to say so, but we often put it off for fear of being sore during an exercise or failing if the session is too hard. Keep in mind that you can always stop if necessary, also a good way not to delay the moment of exercising too much. After all, we didn’t come here to suffer, okay? “If it hurts or if something is wrong, you can always say, ‘I tried.’ You often don’t know before you start whether or not you are ready to push your limits that day,” adds sports coach Vanessa Gebharet to Stylist magazine. And if you’re not ready yet, if you’d rather go for a stretching session, breathing exercises or a less intense workout than usual, know that it’s also very beneficial. We think about giving ourselves rest days during the week and leave the guilt behind in the locker room!